Here it is, my shameful post where I combine multiple reviews into one because I’m so behind with writing reviews that the following movies aren’t even relevant anymore. Like, all of these movies here are pretty much forgotten, and that includes all those thoughts I had about them that I could have mentioned in my reviews. But now though, for the purpose of this post, with that very redundant title, I will try to remember at least a few things for their mini-reviews.
For those who don’t know, I rarely do these types of combined review posts. It’s just not my thing. I don’t like them, I don’t really like writing them and it just doesn’t really fit my vibe. I like reading these types of posts though, and I enjoy monthly movie recaps other bloggers do, but when I think about writing a 5in1 review post for my blog, I cringe inside. I know, I’m weird, I’ve accepted this a long time ago and the solution has been just to go with the weird. Anyway, you can now imagine how difficult this post is for me. And since I need to get these few opinions I have in regards to these movies out before I go insane, I’m going to go against my own stubbornness and do a 5in1 review post.
PS: For some odd reason all the following movies have 4 cup ratings, which was not planned but turns out I’m crap at writing reviews for movies I’ve rated 4 cups to. You learn something new every day!
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY (2016)
After I missed out on seeing this one on the big screen, no particular reason behind that mistake, I saw it as the first movie of 2017 – and it was pretty darn good! There were Bridget Jones worthy awkward cringe moments, there were laughs, there was Colin Firth looking all dapper and cute, and the plot and the screenplay actually made quite a lot of sense. What I remember fondly about the film is the first act, which I think was the strongest part of the movie, especially when drunk Bridget was looking for her friend on the camping site and walked into Patrick Dempsey’s tent. Hilarious. Then the movie started to drag for me, not that it wasn’t funny, which it was, but looking back now, three months later, I hardly remember the second half.
The funniest moments from the movie that have stayed with me is the first half of the movie, then the birthing class scenes where Colin and Patrick were thought to be a gay couple (best!) and the infamous scene where both men were caring Bridget in the end of the movie. So yes, the movie has some classic moments that will be remembered, but I wouldn’t put it on the same pedestal as the first movie. Sorry, but nothing will ever come close to the first movie in terms of laughs. But a nice try though.
HACKSAW RIDGE (2016)
Part of me was very hesitant to go into a Mel Gibson movie with Andrew Garfield – like those two are not a combination I would think greatly of in my mind. But many praised it and I was curious to see how well the war sequences were shot. So I sat down, watched it, got passed the awkwardness of Garfield’s accent, and fell in love with Hacksaw Ridge during its second half.
For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, I recommend pushing through the opening. It’s not a bad opening for a war movie but it’s not as strong as its second half. It is important though because it introduces us our main character and since we get to know him so well, we are very aware of his decisions and bravery during the second half. Which is why I’m going to say that Gibson did a good job with Hacksaw Ridge in terms of character building but he did an amazing job with the war sequences.
One of my all time favourite war scenes, like for many others, is the opening of Saving Private Ryan – the beach scene is brutal, it is random, violent and simply put, horrific. Hacksaw Ridge managed to have the same kind of effect with its own sequence, bullets flying around, the chaos, the randomness. There was this one moment where a soldier’s helmet stopped a bullet, and he took the helmet off to look at it, and got shot in the head. It was beautiful in its ugliness. Plus, for what it’s worth, even though I’m not religious, this movie still appealed to me with its idealism – I know, I’m shocked as well.
HIDDEN FIGURES (2016)
Alright, here is another award worthy movie and one of two movies in this list that carry a strong significance in terms of racism. Part of the reason why I never reviewed this movie, and I remember this reason well, is the fact that while its message was strong and powerful, the movie didn’t give the kind of punch it needed to. It sort of fell flat, which is something that is hard to admit, but it didn’t have that wow-moment I could grab onto, that stand-out scene where you felt the change. It was all sort of muted.
The performances by all the actors were great though, I love all the leading ladies, Taraji P. Henson looked amazing, Octavia Spencer was great as always and Janelle Monae is simply put a gorgeous woman inside and out. Hidden Figures looked great, it introduced a great topic and it had very powerful themes throughout the movie, not just racism but also sexism, and for that, its importance, I praise it. I just wish that it had given me that one scene to carry with me as a reminder that it all made a difference.
THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN (2016)
My most anticipated teen comedy last year, since it was literally the only one to come out!?, was high in my to-watch-list and I’d like to say the wait was completely worth it. But I can’t really say I loved it from start to finish because there were moments where I thought it was all a little shaky and problematic. At the end of the day though, The Edge of Seventeen was one of those strong teen comedies that will remain in my favourites because there aren’t many of them out there anymore. We used to get two or three big teen comedies a year, there were even these horrible Disney ones that I watched for no apparent reason, but now it’s all either comic book movies, remakes/revivals/sequels or trash comedies. What do teenage girls watch nowadays? Netflix?
But the point is, The Edge of Seventeen visits the good old John Hughes times and it is sharp and witty. It’s only downside is the plot and the fact that it creates a stupid conflict to teach the main character a lesson. It’s no Mean Girls or Easy A type of lesson because the setting is all wrong and doesn’t feel natural, but there are things that feel authentic and cool. Woody Harrelson’s character is amazing, Hailee Steinfeld gives a good performance despite how her character is written, and Hayden Szeto’s Erwin steals the show with his charismatic performance. So it’s a win overall even though there are some things The Edge of Seventeen gets wrong.
Long and hard I thought about writing a review of Moonlight. It was a good movie, it was the best movie to win the Best Picture Oscar… but it was not the strongest movie I saw from last year. And I know I will get yelled at by some, but I thought Arrival was better, and ultimately, I think Manchester By the Sea should have won the Best Picture. Go ahead, be mad at me but that’s how I feel at this moment, keeping in mind that I still have no interest in seeing La La Land and I’ve yet to watch High and Hell Water, Fences and Lion. Anyway, it’s not a discussion about the awards, which I think are pointless in the long run anyway, it’s about Moonlight and its significance to the movie industry and to the world.
The movie itself packed a lot of quiet thought, it was subtle and full of meaning. It was loud while it was quiet, and similar to Manchester by the Sea, it took me to an emotional place where I don’t want to go often. Being gay and being black must be the hardest deck of cards a man or a woman could be dealt. Yet being white and being straight is automatically a privilege, and the world shouldn’t be like that. To have a movie that showcases the difficulties, on such an emotional level, and to have such a movie win the biggest award, is amazing, and I’m so proud of everyone involved.
At the end of the day though, Moonlight faces the same problem I had with Hidden Figures, and while both movies throw a lot of punches, none of them quite hit the mark. The pain I felt didn’t go deep enough, it didn’t burn a hole in my soul but I wish it did. Plus, as someone pointed out (who it was I don’t remember but feel free to comment down below if it was you, so I could link your review!), Moonlight had multiple endings before it actually ended and it’s the best way to describe this movie. It constantly threw us into conclusions, while still continuing on with itself, and it was hard to get back into it after so many endings. Plus there’s the irony of the real ending being so abrupt that it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was like…
I bet you all have seen most of these movies so let me know what you think of them down in the comments. I love when you guys leave me comments, even though I suck at commenting myself.. I’m the worst.0
I loved Hacksaw Ridge. It may be a bit saccharine at times, but that’s ok, because the movie was, as far as I can tell, very true to Doss’s character. There are things that happened to Doss in battle that Gibson didn’t have in the movie because they were even more unbelievable than what he chose to show us. I also love how the battle scenes are shot almost like a horror movie, and what a contrast they are to the bright, sweet world of the first part of the movie!
Now I’m curious. What did he do!? And it is visually stunning in a way, the horrific things included.
Well, for instance, at one point he was hit in the legs by grenade shrapnel and tended his own wounds instead of calling for another medic. Then he waited 5 hours until the medics found him and put him on a stretcher. As they were carrying him, he saw another wounded man, so he crawled off the stretcher and had the medics take the other guy. Then a sniper shot him in the arm, giving him a compound fracture, which he mended by binding a rifle stock to his arm and crawled 300 yards to the medic station. Several crazy things happened to him like that.
I loved Hacksaw Ridge and Hidden Figures should have got more recognition. I woildn’t bother with LaLa Land. You should really watch Hell or High Water as it is one of the best films of 2016 in my opinion.
I’ve had Hell and High Water waiting for my attention for a while but luckily I’ve lost all interest towards La La Land.
Yeah don’t bother with La La Land. Lion is definitely worth a watch.
I’ve only seen Hidden Figures and Moonlight. I fully understand your point about the emotional impact not quite being there for Hidden Figures. However, I would say the movie is clearly trying to be as lighthearted as possible and was never going to kick you in the gut. It simply wanted to give you feel-good moments and I think it did that. Moonlight, on the other hand, did try to kick you in the gut. For me, it managed to accomplish that. I looked at the conclusions as just closing a chapter of the main character’s life, so it didn’t bother me. Also, I don’t think it dealt with racism, at all. Homosexuality within the black community? Sure. Racism? Lastly, I have no problem with anyone who says Arrival is better. That is a fantastic film.
Oh, there was one more thing. Don’t feel bad about mini-reviews. I totally get where you’re coming from. Great post.
It was feel good but I needed triumph, like that feeling of elevated joy which should have been there for instance when Costner was breaking down that bathroom sign. For some reason I felt very little emotion in that scene and I feel like I should have felt a lot more.
Hah, Arrival for me is still the best from that year because I walked out of the cinema with my mind blown – in the best possible way. I think last year had a lot of serious topics and serious movies and contradicting movies but Arrival was doing its own thing and kept out of the drama in the best way possible.
Thanks! I just.. it feels weird to post these sorts of reviews but I think this will start happening more and more.. :/
The only one of these I haven’t seen is Bridget Jones’s Baby. I liked the others, and the 2nd half of Hacksaw Ridge. The first hour of that movie was atrocious.
I like your mini reviews. I’m glad you got to talk about these films, even if it’s just a few paragraphs
Second half of Hacksaw Ridge was phenomenal in my opinion. The rawness, my god, I imagine Dunkirk with scenes like that, hopefully, because no war movie is complete without a horrific war sequence and next to Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw definitely delivered one as well.
Thanks! That means a lot.. and who knows, I have a feeling these mini reviews will start popping up more and more.
Haven’t seen Edge of 17 but I did see all the other ones. Yeah Moonlight didn’t move me. Hidden Figures was great but it didn’t have the punch of something like The Help. Bridget’s first act was actually the worst for me but the film redeemed itself with that carrying to the hospital thing which is the film’s sole mention on my awards list but I did really like that film and thought it was amazing how almost the entire cast came back after all this time to do this. Hacksaw was extremely well made but the only acting standout for me was hysterical Vaugh
I’m so with you on this post. I still have never pulled the trigger on ‘mini-reviews’ but I’ve been tempted before (once, I was six movies in the hole). But, just like you said, while I don’t want to do it…I love it when other people do.
And..AND…this is the first time in the history of the internet, I have actually seen every movie that’s mentioned. I enjoyed all five, but Hacksaw Ridge was my favorite of the bunch. Moonlight was good, but I didn’t like it nearly as much I thought I would.
Oh, and I’m totally with you on Erwin. That dude was my favorite!
I can understand not having interest in seeing a movie no matter the praise a movie gets. I know eventually I will see Hidden Figures and Lion but I have very little interest in seeing them. I was disappointed in Manchester by The Sea, and I think Denzel should have won over Affleck in Best acting category( I have still to see Fences). I will agree that Arrival should have won this pick but wasn’t upset that Moonlight won. If musicals are not your thing, I’m not going to convince you to watch La La Land. I think that’s a movie that I will only enjoy in theaters and not at home. Sort of like Gravity and The Artist. I enjoyed those heavily on the big screen but when I watch them at home I don
t get the same amount of joy I once had.
Nice review! Bridget Jones Baby was a lot of fun and had a few great moments. Mark and what-his-characters-name carrying Bridget still cracks me up. The first one is the best, and the last one is better than Edge of Reason. It was impressive to see Renee return back into a role she’s so good at and to see Bridget a matured age but still funny, clumsy, etc.
I really wanted to love Hidden Figures too. It was a nice movie, and the performances were great. But the direction and writing to me was just really weak.